Friday, July 15, 2016

A worrying change in emphasis?

I know I'll be criticised for saying this, but I'm just going to be honest anyway - I'm slightly disturbed by an apparent subtle change in the mood-music coming from the Scottish Government over the last 24 hours.  I took the BBC's Mark Mardell to task the other day for what I thought was the utterly ludicrous suggestion that the SNP would eventually "join the forces of soft Brexit", but from the Herald's summary of the "red lines" agreed by the expert standing council, it appears that may be exactly what's beginning to happen.  If what we're seeking is merely "access to the single market" and "rights of free movement of people", that sounds very much like a push for Britain to adopt the Norway or Swiss models, rather than for Scotland to remain a full part of the EU when Britain leaves.  It doesn't sit very comfortably with the very specific "Remain means Remain" pledge that has been made several times.

I'm sure some of you will say that anything in the Herald that isn't a direct quote should be treated with caution, but even the public statements seem slightly different in tone suddenly.  I listened to Nicola Sturgeon's interview on Reporting Scotland, and as far as I can recall she didn't make any reference at all to her objective of keeping Scotland in the EU, but simply affirmed the considerably vaguer goals of maintaining links with Europe and protecting Scotland's interests.

As it happens, the red lines are still extremely tough and are highly unlikely to be met, because we know that Theresa May is minded to prioritise ending the free movement of people, which in turn precludes continued membership of the single market.  But I just hope there's no further slippage in the negotiating position.  The Herald refers to the possibility of a "salvage" operation if efforts to retain meaningful ties fail, and for my part, let me say this : no, I do not think retaining the European Arrest Warrant (which is pretty much the worst thing about the EU) is anything like enough of a consolation prize to justify forgoing a second independence referendum.

51 comments:

  1. Surely you see that it's a tease. Look to be seen to be on the 55 side, doing everything possible, but at the end we make May and Hammond out to be the awful creatures that they are!!

    It's a game. And only one team has turned up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Surely you see that it's a tease. Look to be seen to be on the 55 side, doing everything possible, but at the end we make May and Hammond out to be the awful creatures that they are!!

    It's a game. And only one team has turned up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think we can read this as the Scottish Government exhausting every avenue before going for indyref2 with a public sigh and a "we tried". We must protect ourselves from those who would portray us as not respecting the result of indyref1.

    ReplyDelete
  4. SNP have a history of gullibility,when it comes to promises,signed the smith commision
    I can see MAY crushing them like ants before article50 signed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bumblefuck tories for unityJuly 15, 2016 at 1:15 AM

      LOL

      Don't you mean crushed like an immigrant cat?

      The tory party will be merrily tearing itself to pieces again by the time article 50 comes around chum.

      Tiny majority of 12 + intractable EU problem = Chaos.

      Sorry to disappoint your amusing faith in the incompetent May and her Nasty party of backstabbers and infighters.

      Delete
    2. It did cross my mind that the new regime have made powerful enemies. We may not like people like Gideon or Govie, but she she roadblocked quite a few careers at once this week, and has only a small majority.

      Delete
  5. The SNP is behaving like a responsible and moderate government and in doing so needs to show May and her ilk as extreme and inflexible so that when the inevitable indyref 2 does take place the advocates of independence will be viewed as having exhausted every avenue . The First Minister only has to convince 6 plus percent of Scottish voters to win the next referendum. As Brexit has demonstrated a majority however small is enough for major constitutional change .

    ReplyDelete
  6. Scots,in a referendum,have voted to remain within the EU and that is what our FM is arguing (even if it was framed in a UK context).
    If there is an attempt to change that position,surely people would have to agree to it through another consultation exercise?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think you'll find the Red Lines exist only in the Herald's imagination. 'Explore all options' means just that. Will the options be good enough? Time will tell.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Plus there won't be a soft Brexit option. David Davis has made clear that they will be pursuing a Canadian Trade Deal option with no freedom of movement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bumblefuck tories for unityJuly 15, 2016 at 1:35 AM

      They don't have a clue what they want and the only priority seems to be trying to stop the brexiteers in the tory party going apeshit or the remainers from losing it if they don't get what they want.

      Hence the deliberate vagueness and confusion as they embark on impossible task of keeping a party together that doesn't trust each other and won't be kept happy for very long just by a few plum jobs to a few Brexiteer prize plums.

      Delete
  9. The view from the bubble is always shitJuly 15, 2016 at 1:18 AM

    Laura KuenssbergVerified account
    ‏@bbclaurak

    Jeremy Hunt also out

    ReplyDelete
  10. This could just be a framing strategy from the Scottish government, centred around the practical and concrete advantage EU membership brings us. 'We want to preserve our EU citizenships' doesn't necessarily mean much to your pocket or your dinner table. 'We want to preserve our right to sell our goods to Europe, and to live and work in Europe' means much more to the average punter.

    I agree with a commenter above that the appointments of Fox, Davis and Johnson appear to rule out an EEA/Norway model strategy. This gives the Scottish government plenty of room to opt for a second referendum if it chooses to do so, safe in the knowledge that immigration does not appear to be the 'live' political issue in Scotland as it is south of the border. An unspoken 'private polling' test will also surely be applied.

    ReplyDelete
  11. May is not a stupid woman, yet her obduracy clearly plays right into Sturgeon's hands. Wonder if her intent is to create conditions that guarantee Scotland's exit from UK.

    I'm not of a mind to dismiss James Kelly's instincts, either. There absolutely has been a shift in narrative that is a tad disquieting. It may be that the imperative driving this is to be found in Scot Gov's private polling and focus group assessments of a movement in the electorate's mood.

    Perhaps we will know more later today.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You should realise that the EU may not survive this Brexit. There are elections in most of the big countries next year, and no guarantee that Ms LePen won't be French president by next summer.

    Incidents like the appalling events in Nice overnight play into her hands.

    Trust Nicola. She is the least daft politician in the land. But all of us yessers will not deliver us our independence by sitting at computer screens and just imagining it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. David Martin MEP made an interesting point: "if we saw the (EU)referendum as an excuse for independence we could face a hostile reception from some member countries". I think the Scottish Government must explore, and be seen to explore, every option available.

    ReplyDelete
  14. May is trying to impose her will (I'm with you Scotland {aye right}) Nicola Sturgeon is 100% for Scotland. She said many times that the EUref result couldn't be used directly as the route to independence but had to explore all options first. That was to ensure the Scottish public didn't feel that Remain was in fact a vote to indy. We had to get Remain vote in first. Now we have the Remain vote, all options have to be explored. Of all the parties, the SNP are well aware of how the tories operate.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The thing I find really weird is that no-one, including the Scottish Government, has noticed that Hollyrood has *already* declared itself independent (not under the control of) from Westminster.

    They did that when they assumed control of Scottish Foreign Policy without asking for permission, and Westminster didn't stop them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wouldn't be surprised if May is trying to pressurise/bait Sturgeon into calling a second referendum before Article 50 is triggered. Then iRef2 can be fought on the basis that the UK isn't actually leaving *yet*.

    Vow 2: "We'll stay in the EU!" Day after the second vote: "To CETA or WTO!"

    No doubt she's up here to figure out what the SNP would require in exchange for not breaking the union up. "We'll take full home rule plus foreign affairs. Piss off." would be my response.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is just part of the establishment's classic 'divide and rule' strategy - throw in a comment that places doubt on the Scottish government's policy and stand back and watch while we tear ourselves apart. Surprised you're falling for this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, come on, Brian. I'm talking about comments made by our own side.

      Delete
  18. Perception is everything, and NS is playing a blinder. The Scottish government is seen to be trying everything to protect what the majority of Scotland voted for - continued EU membership and the rights of EU citizens to remain in Scotland.

    It may annoy some of you here, but independence is not the priority at the moment. It's not the be all and end all, folks, much as you may want it to be. The priority is to sort out the mess created by WM and protect Scotland's status in Europe. Indy is rightfully on the table as one of the available tools to ensure this, but at the moment it is not the only option. It may well turn out that, after an exhaustive effort, all other options fall away and the nuclear button has to be pressed.

    Of course NS wants another indyref, but only when Scotland is ready for it and we cannot base Scotland's opinion on the basis of a couple of knee-jerk opinion polls taken within days of the BREXIT result. The dust has to settle (and there is still no sign of that happening), all options have to be explored and negotiations well underway before we even start thinking about pushing the IndyRef 2 button.

    Patience folks, trust the Scottish government. Unlike WM, they know what they are doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it will be some time after the A50 process is started before voters in Scotland will see what is the new alternative to independence. For instance, we could see a federal UK with Greater London, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, and Scotland staying in and the rest of the UK doing a Greenland (or should that be Iceland?). I introduce this not as a serious discussion point but to illustrate that there may be a solution which does not require ind2.

      Delete
    2. Yes, it will be some time after the A50 process is started before voters in Scotland will see what is the new alternative to independence. For instance, we could see a federal UK with Greater London, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, and Scotland staying in and the rest of the UK doing a Greenland (or should that be Iceland?). I introduce this not as a serious discussion point but to illustrate that there may be a solution which does not require ind2.

      Delete
  19. As I understand it, if we hold and win indyref2 within the two year time span alloted to the A50 process, we will be an independent country which has not actually ever left the EU. Therefore we will not have to (re) apply as we will already be in, so cannot be vetoed by any of the other 27 such as Spain under Rajoy.

    As such, we will be regarded by the EU (and by implication, the wider international community) as the successor state, and successor to all the UK-EU treaties to date.

    This strikes me as a very favourable position to be in.

    ReplyDelete
  20. And as the successor state, we will be rUK in international terms. We would certainly be recognised as such by the EU. That would be powerful endorsement. How the rest of the international community viewed us I do not know. We might even have a claim to the UK's permanent seat on the UN security council. Especially since Trident would be in our territory.

    But given the degree of integration between Anglo Scottish trade, it strikes me that this could be very favourable to both England and Scotland as English interests which might suffer as a result of Brexit could relocate to Scotland, thus offering hope to the 48% who voted Remain.

    ReplyDelete
  21. At the moment there are 28 member states, there can still be 28 member states on RuK withdrawal, a little bit of natter and some paper shuffling and Gala Bingo, done

    And the big plus we get to determine our own future, it's all win win for me

    ReplyDelete
  22. I hope Sturgeon tells May, in the most diplomatic of terms, to take her so-called united kingdom and stuff it up her... ganzie.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nicola is only giving them rope..................it will look better when May pulls the plug on Scotland's "equality".

    Pity she didn't invite Boris to launch her "Jockalypso".
    Though Ruthie, with her Barrack Room bluster and humour ( which the media lap up), is a close match to the Blonde One.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It strikes me that Nicola has more to offer May than vice versa. If May will drop her hostility to Scottish independence, she might find she has another string to her bow in the Brexit negotiations with which to placate the 48% if Scotland can be the territorial base for English interests which will lose out after Brexit. Despite our strong differences on the independence issue we are otherwise friendly nations.

    ReplyDelete
  25. At the moment, everything is extremely fluid, and for example, it was only on Monday that we discovered that there wouldn't be Conservative leadership contest. There are reasonable grounds for suspicion that Article 50 will never be activated.
    Given this, it is smart for Sturgeon to be keeping her options open, allowing the Scottish government to choose the timing for a second referendum. And beware of those in the media trying to sow division, as they were during the elections in May.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Steady there James. We are talking about the pro-union media here, not above manipulating the agenda as they see fit. Take the recent case of activist forced to defend themselves against lying about an assault by a Labour MP, as a blatant example. Or the Blow to Surgeon regarding some minister telling her that a separate Scottish deal within the UK is not possible (what is missing is usually more interesting)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Glasgow Working Class 2July 15, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    May has nothing to offer knickerless. It was a British election and we voted out. The Nat sis did not accept that the majority of Scots voted to remain in the UK now they do not accept the will of the British to leave the corrupt EU. We all had to accept the Nat si MP'S going to Westminster and taking our money while sitting on their hands doing FA.
    The Nat sis are verging on fascism by not accepting democracy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandJuly 15, 2016 at 2:42 PM

      .

      Delete
    2. also brain dead too.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working Class 2July 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM

      Far right Jock Nat si.

      Delete
    4. The poster above is a far-right racist troll from EnglandJuly 15, 2016 at 3:16 PM

      .

      Delete
  28. No. The EU has indicated that an independent Scotland would be welcome to apply, but Scotland cannot remain whilst a region of the UK. If UK leaves, Scotland leaves.

    However, if independence takes place during Brexit negotiations whilst the UK is still technically part of the EU we will not have to apply to join as we will also technically be part of the EU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes but that isn't strictly true though and seems to me to be sabre rustling from Europe.

      If Westminster wanted Scotland/N Ire to remain in Europe, they could see to it that they would, but Westminster would have to give back reserved powers that it currently retains.

      If Westminster truly respects the union, they will do this, if they do not, then it is curtains.

      As we know, the EU law is exceedingly wishy washy when it comes to the rights of EU Citizens, if Westminster was to change standing of Scotland/N.Ire then all it would take for them to remain in the EU is for the member states to agree to it.

      And that would be that. It's why EU people have been saying its a matter for UK to sort out regarding Scotland and N.Ire the power is in Westminsters hands.

      Delete
  29. May, in her comments today, has just given Scotland a veto on brexit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boris Gump and the BrexitearsJuly 15, 2016 at 3:56 PM

      And Northern Ireland.

      Why it's almost as if May was a remainer who didn't want to invoke article 50 at all and was looking for an excuse.

      I'm sure the tory Brexiteers will be very understanding when the penny finally drops.

      LOL

      Delete
  30. Go figure! Sturgeon is full of bluster in her grandstanding over the EU. I was shouted down and called a troll by SNP zoomers "Queen 'I love Goldman Sachs' Nicola" of the Progressives. But I called it grandstanding on the 'dear leader's' part and it is. Sturgeon cannot be beyond criticism - she is an unimpressive individual in my view.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Dear leader" is a bit of a zoomery term too, to be fair.

      Delete
    2. Away and vote for the wreckage of SLAB or Ruthie then pal.

      Or perhaps even UKIP. ROFL

      Delete
    3. It's a curious habit of the mind that many SNP zealots have that they assume any critical thinking about the SNP and the SNPs positioning/leadership/tactics is indicative of being a Unionist. Strange. However, it does confirm my worries about the total lack of pluralism within SNP circles. Groupthink is never a good thing. Honest critics should be the independence movement's greatest asset in our to provide corrective feedback to prevent obvious errors such the currency union gambit.

      Call me a troll if it makes you feel better. I have supported Scottish independence for my entire adult life but that doesn't mean I signed up for an SNP "can do no wrong" lobotomy.

      Delete
    4. It's a curious habit of the mind that many SNP zealots have that they assume any critical thinking about the SNP and the SNPs positioning/leadership/tactics is indicative of being a Unionist. Strange. However, it does confirm my worries about the total lack of pluralism within SNP circles. Groupthink is never a good thing. Honest critics should be the independence movement's greatest asset in our to provide corrective feedback to prevent obvious errors such the currency union gambit.

      Call me a troll if it makes you feel better. I have supported Scottish independence for my entire adult life but that doesn't mean I signed up for an SNP "can do no wrong" lobotomy.

      Delete
  31. Is there a longer game here? I don't wish to to be cruel but the overwhelming bias towards UK remainers in those of pensionable age can only really be solved with time. If Brexit means Brexit-lite then it will be much easier for a newly independent Scotland to re-join the EU in, say, 5 years from now. The trade-off is to have a later independence referendum but on much more favourable terms. In the meantime we sit and wait with little material change regarding the EU. The other side of the gamble is that, even with a lower bar for Brexit conditions, we still don't get what we want so call a referendum, perhaps within 12 months from now. The point then would be that we bent over backwards to be accommodating and Westminster still refused. Might be enough to sway that 5% that were needed last time.

    ReplyDelete
  32. We don't know what deals are being offered in private. Because Scotland has the potential to throw a major spanner in the UK negotiating position.
    The EU could threaten to roll out the red carpet for Scotland to remain in Europe, and at the same time, put the dampeners on the UK joining the single market under a Norway style deal.
    Would Westminster be confident of winning a referendum in these conditions - where the UK represented isolationism ?

    So what would NS do if the UK government offered some kind of federalism, control of fishing/agriculture and maybe broadcasting or corporation tax thrown in as a sop ?
    So long as we take the UK side in negotiations to get the best deal.

    Perhaps some would take the view that independence can best be won in a few years time from a Devo-Max position, rather than right now when we have a high deficit.

    On the other hand, we may never have a better opportunity - at times of major upset such as this. If the UK is out of the single market, then there are big opportunities to neutralize any economic negatives.

    We don't know what is going on behind the scenes, or if NS wants to take an all or nothing gamble if a short-term alternative is on the table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We dont have a high deficit 11 billion of the figure is non-cash items. 2.8 billion of the accounting adjustment isnt spent.

      Delete
  33. I see your point here, James and you're right to raise the concern - yet in an almost impossible situation (squaring Brexit with Scotland's will), it seems to me inevitable that a compromise too far and you're lured into accepting the other side's stance (they still wield a surprising amount of tactical battle power even as they are losing the strategic war). But how much does the odd drop of the ball matter when the trends are so crystal clear?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Good points Joe K.

    As a fellow independence supporter I too also don't subscribe to the snp can do no wrong mantra.

    It's time for the independence movement to be represented by all sides. It badly needs a right of centre representation . Much as it sticks in the throat . There will be plenty time for radical left of centre policies once we are independent .

    Our time will come by default .

    I remember when 10% in Edinburgh south was a good result for the cause. The genie was brought out the bottle by labour in 97 and won't ever be going back in.

    Patience will net us the prize. Meantime enjoy the sideshows and freaks who come on here with their out dated unionist bile. They live in a past of colonies and spear chucker views.

    Our time is near.

    ReplyDelete